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Home » Articles » Advantages and challenges of outsourcing customer service in 2024

Advantages and challenges of outsourcing customer service in 2024

Advantages and challenges of outsourcing customer service in 2023

When a company is experiencing rapid development or drastic improvement, outsourcing assistance is the best option. It can help you maintain timely and high-quality service while determining your company’s long-term future.

Customer service is a crucial aspect of every successful organization. It’s something you must get right the first time.

Many worldwide corporations have shared their experiences outsourcing customer service to offshore and in-country enterprises in recent years.

What is customer service outsourcing?

Customer service outsourcing is the act of contracting out a portion of your customer service operations to a third-party service provider.

Outsourcing can provide the appropriate standard of service support at a lower cost, with the extra advantages of flexibility and scalability.

Many enterprises and businesses are driving demand for outsourcing customer service due to the benefits that the practice provides compared to managing the duty in-house.

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What is customer service outsourcing

How does outsourcing customer service work?

Customer service is the most crucial component of any modern business, and it’s critical to treat it with professionalism and dedication.

Here are the things you have to contemplate when outsourcing customer service:

Determine objectives

While goals are broad representations of what the organization seeks to achieve in general, objectives are the group’s activities to achieve those goals.

Identifying your objectives is a critical outsourcing stage. It is a must to determine what you require from your Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner.

Whether you are determining goals or objectives, make sure they are realistic, attainable, and practical.

Pick a flexible BPO company

As representatives of your organization, the outsourced team you select must be convincing. Switching to outsourcing requires knowledge and skill in managing outsourced processes.

Choose a company that is willing to adapt to developments.

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Here are the things to consider before outsourcing your customer service:

  • How you’ll find and hire the best candidates for your offshore staff
  • Educating overseas staff about your company’s culture and operations
  • Clearly define duties and KPIs
  • Strong communication between onshore and offshore employees is essential

Create a solid onboarding process

An outsourced customer service team can relieve you and your company of much stress instead of having an in-house team.

However, this does not indicate that you should recruit a crew and let them get to work independently.

To have the company and its employees up to speed on your business, you’ll need to develop a substantial onboarding procedure with your outsourcing partner.

Your outsourced customer service team must have a thorough knowledge of your company’s culture, customers, tone, products, and services.

Ensure proper documentation

After collecting all of your data, the next thing to do is write and present your business plan to make your case for outsourcing.

Determine when they should provide your firm with crucial statistics. It could be once a week, a few times a week, or daily.

You want to get updates frequently and hold the corporation responsible for your objectives. If something isn’t operating as expected, you can address it right away to limit the harm.

Make a list of everything you learned from each strategy stage, making sure to include the following:

  • Total cost of sourcing (TCS)
  • Workloads
  • Financial impact
  • Objectives and progression
  • Proposed timetable

Communicate and make an action

For your partnership to succeed, you’ll need to keep the lines of communication open. In your company, appoint someone to act as a point of contact.

This person or persons should be accessible to take calls and respond to emails from the customer service outsourcing company at all times.

How does outsourcing customer service work

Pros of outsourcing customer service

Outsourcing is a standard commercial practice in which one organization hires another to perform a particular task.

Here are some of the benefits of outsourcing customer service:

Saves resources and expenditures 

An in-house contact center can be quite costly to run. The cost of setting up the infrastructure, personnel expenses, prospective training fees, and administrative costs are all included in the comprehensive budget list.

When you outsource a customer service operation, it can help you save up to 70% on your labor costs.

You can hire a skilled crew with ready-to-use equipment, a detailed price list, and a guarantee of success if you do enough research.

Many businesses have discovered that outsourcing customer support is often a more cost-effective option than having full-time customer representatives.

A customer service outsourcing company can also provide flexible and economical labor choices, such as a pricing system that charges per result rather than per hour.

Multilingual support

If your business wants to expand its scope and market share, it needs to help the local market’s native language.

There are numerous other advantages to providing multilingual help and solid evidence to back them up.

Customer service companies that are offshoring offer language alternatives. It is a benefit that your company does not have to deal with in regards to your in-house employees and outsourced customer support team.

Plus, it expands your customer base because you can be a call center service that can cater to anyone, anywhere in the world. This can also lead to customer loyalty and customer retention.

Make sure to advertise this perk so that potential clients are aware of it.

An exceptional customer experience can be caused by dedicated agents with the know-how to address customer concerns in a particular language.

24/7 customer service availability

Another advantage of outsourcing customer service to an external team is the ability to extend business hours.

Customer satisfaction grows with round-the-clock service, and it also conveys a better level of dependability for your assistance. It gives you peace of mind even after your physical store or office has closed for the day.

Customer service that is available 24/7 appears to be a must-have nowadays, especially for larger businesses. However, you’d have to pay a lot to persuade a qualified professional to work longer hours.

You can fix this problem with offshore outsourcing by hiring workers from different time zones. This can let you provide excellent customer service with round-the-clock customer interaction.

As a result, an outsourcing solution can help boost your brand reputation and encourage customer loyalty and customer retention.

Pros of outsourcing customer service

Access to cutting-edge technology

BPO providers can offer the necessary equipment and advanced technologies to improve your company’s operations without hidden charges. This can be a huge cost savings in regard to infrastructure expenditures and investments.

It is a fantastic method to make better use of technology and keep ahead of end-user demands.

Most common freebies from these providers include corporate software and server programs, data warehousing, VPNs, current computer terminals and networking hardware, and finely-honed chatbot setups, among other things that you might not be able to afford in-house.

Getting rid of staffing issues

Managing your employees is an enjoyable experience. It increases employee commitment to the firm and allows you to identify areas for improvement.

However, honing an outsourced customer service team needs a significant amount of time and work.

It’s preferable to delegate responsibility if it’s not directly related to your company’s main product.

You retain control over the team you hire when you outsource customer support, but you don’t have to deal with minor issues like new hiring or additional training.

Access to specialized expertise

Outsourced customer support allows you to access particular expertise that may not be readily available internally.

Customer service providers often have teams with diverse skill sets and extensive experience in handling various types of customer inquiries.

This expertise can be especially valuable when dealing with complex technical issues or niche markets.

To make the most of this advantage, firms should choose an outsourced customer service provider with a proven track record in their industry or specific domain.

By leveraging the specialized knowledge of their dedicated team, businesses can provide more accurate and effective support to their customers, enhancing overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Scalability and flexibility

Customer service outsourcing offers a scalable and flexible solution for handling fluctuating customer demand.

During peak seasons or when faced with sudden surges in customer inquiries, companies can quickly scale up their call centers to meet the increased workload.

Conversely, during quieter periods, they can scale down, leading to cost savings and optimized resource allocation.

To maximize the benefits of scalability and flexibility, it’s essential to have a robust communication and resource management system in place.

Regularly reviewing and adjusting call centers’ staffing levels based on customer demand patterns ensures that companies can adapt to changing needs effectively.

This agility allows businesses to maintain exceptional customer service without overburdening their internal teams.

Cons of outsourcing customer service

It’s all about doing your best to meet your customer’s customer service needs when outsourcing customer service.

But just like any other process, outsourcing customer services has drawbacks too.

There is less quality control

Since the operations are outside your office when you are outsourcing, ensure that your firm performs well if you want to have a solid reputation.

It implies that each component must adhere to particular guidelines. There should be quality assurance procedures in place as well.

However, if a customer service department operates remotely, there is no way to ensure that they adhere to your guidelines.

Concerns on data security

Lack of transparency is usually the root of the main outsourcing issues.

Lack of trust and communication are just a few of the most significant challenges that anyone who engages in an outsourcing firm faces.

It can be not easy to trust an overseas partner with your data if your call center operations are outsourced to a country where staff background checks aren’t thorough.

If the agent vetting isn’t up to par, you can feel vulnerable all the time.

Collaboration is lacking

The outsourced company’s agents may not have all of their staff in the exact location and may not even speak with one another.

Even if the language barrier and time difference are the least of your worries, they can have a significant impact on your productivity.

There is also a concern about a lack of communication between external support reps and your internal team. Before doing business with offshore corporations, you must employ an international statute professional to safeguard yourself.

Language and cultural barriers

One of the most significant challenges that companies face when outsourcing customer support is dealing with language and cultural barriers.

When support agents are located in different parts of the world, there is a high likelihood of encountering communication issues.

Accents, language proficiency, and cultural nuances can all contribute to misunderstandings between the service provider and the customer.

To mitigate these challenges, agencies must invest in extensive training programs when they outsource customer support teams. These programs should focus on accent reduction, language proficiency improvement, and cultural sensitivity training.

Using standardized scripts and templates can also help ensure that responses to customer inquiries are consistent and clear.

Lack of brand alignment

Maintaining brand consistency and alignment is crucial for building a strong and recognizable brand image.

When customer service is outsourced to a third-party provider, there is a risk that the service may not align with the company’s brand values, tone, and messaging.

This misalignment can result in a disjointed customer experience.

To address this issue, firms should provide an outsourced customer support team with detailed brand guidelines and messaging frameworks. This can include establishing a brand voice and having a service-level agreement that ensures synergy.

Regular communication and collaboration between the in-house marketing and customer service teams and the outsourced partner can help ensure that brand alignment is maintained.

Monitoring customer interactions closely and providing feedback to ensure consistency is essential.

Start outsourcing your customer service

Are you considering outsourcing your customer service department? When it comes to outsourcing customer service to a call center, more and more businesses are taking the plunge.

It’s a full-time job to find and manage customer-centric employees, deal with challenging customers, and remember facts about your product or service.

Trying to run and expand a business while keeping all of that in mind would be stressful for anyone.

Start outsourcing your customer service

Companies can use outsourcing to add more support capacity fast, when they need it, without committing to employing full-time workers, which can take at least a few weeks.

Booth and Partners lets businesses easily scale their customer service whether it is peak or off-peak season

Outsourcing customer service to Booth and Partners enables businesses to leverage top-of-the-line technology combined with experienced customer service specialists.

To summarize, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages to outsourcing customer service. Each case, however, is distinct.

Businesses should be able to tell if outsourcing customer service is the best option.

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Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

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Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 450+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,900+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

“Excellent service for outsourcing advice and expertise for my business.”

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